UEF / Federal Union Workshops and Stand at the European Social Forum

Federalists went to the European Social Forum in London on 15-17 October to argue the case for federalism and the European Constitution. Federalists were in a minority, but it was important to be there.

We had a stall to distribute literature and sign up supporters; George IRVIN, Brendan DONNELLY and Nicola VALLINOTO spoke in seminars; Peter LUFF, Nicola VALLINOTO and Richard LAMING spoke in workshops.

The political atmosphere was overwhelmingly hostile to the Constitution - as Brendan DONNELLY found out when he spoke - but not to federalism. Most people were unaware of it but sympathetic to its values: the articles we circulated included a piece on globalisation by Alberto MAJOCCHI and one on Guantanamo Bay  by Richard LAMING which were intended to strike a chord with the people we met.

We were also able to make contact with representatives of various environment and development NGOs on issues such as WTO reform and tax havens - which will be useful in the future - and we also met people from act4Europe, which is a grouping of Brussels-based NGOs interested in the constitution.

The follow-up includes adding the new supporters to the various mailing lists, continuing the contact with the NGOs and seeing what we can do with act4Europe.

Thanks go to all those who worked on the event, particularly Anja HÄRTWIG who came over from Brussels to help on the stall and with the meetings. I would hesitate to call the weekend fun, but it was certainly worthwhile.